Athens, GA, United States (4E Sports) – Georgia coach Mark Richt allowed four of his players who were arrested and jailed on theft charges to participate in the team’s first spring football practice, saying he will deal with them later.
“I would just say there’s always a process that I go through before I make a decision,” Richt said. “Sometimes it happens rapidly and sometimes it doesn’t. I’m not going to say anything other than if there’s something I need to report to everybody, I will.”
Because the crimes were misdemeanors, Georgia’s student-athlete conduct codes leave the discipline to the discretion of the head coach.
Sophomore Tray Matthews, who projected as Georgia’s starting free safety this coming season, receiver Uriah LeMay and defensive linemen James DeLoach and Jonathan Taylor participated in Tuesday’s practice.
“Well, we definitely wanted to focus on the excitement of the first day of spring ball,” Richt said. “Obviously we had some guys do some things that were foolish and they’ll be consequences for that. I’m not ready to talk about that at this moment”.
In the past, Richt has often withheld his disciplinary decisions until the actual season begins. Georgia opens the season at home against Clemson on Aug. 31.
However, Richt expressed disappointment for his players’ action.
“You’re disappointed,” Richt said. “You have to decide, start deciding what you’re going to do about it. At Georgia, we’ve never tried to hide things. If somebody makes a mistake, we clean it up.”